Readers' Forum

Three cheers for Julie Kagan's "Pilates" article (April 2004 issue)! The information, coming from a certified Pilates instructor, was a treat. I, too, can attest to the energy, healing, and increased body awareness from Pilates.

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Benefits of Pilates

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The author of the letter titled, "Benefits of Pilates," sent three photographs of herself doing the following exercise routines: Teaser on theMat (above)
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Dear RDH:
Three cheers for Julie Kagan's "Pilates" article (April 2004 issue)! The information, coming from a certified Pilates instructor, was a treat.I, too, can attest to the energy, healing, and increased body awareness from Pilates.

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Tower on the Cadillac exercise
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I have been working out twice weekly for one and one half years with a Pilates trainer on the apparatus exercises. Previously, I visited a chiropractor every month for chronic upper back and neck fatigue with extreme muscle tightness. This was one way I "managed" the constant physical stress of hygiene.

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Short spinal massage on the Reformer exercise
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Since taking up Pilates, I have had no need to see a chiropractor! My spine stays in alignment by the strength of my own spinalis and core muscles. While working, I am aware of sitting up straight and holding my core in place. As an added plus, most exercises work through the entire spine which releases tension, and actually gives me a natural endorphin high.

I think it is imperative for us in hygiene to take care of our bodies. Even the CDC is concerned about the ongoing health of the "aging" technician. To practice pain-free is a worthy and attainable goal. I recommend Pilates to anyone who wants to beat fatigue, gain strength, and cultivate a generalized feeling of well-being.
Kelli Swanson Jaecks, RDH, BSDH
Salem, Oregon

Enjoyed Myrna's backyard

Dear RDH:
I had to write and tell you how much I enjoyed the heart-warming story, "In Myrna's backyard" (February 2004 issue). I enjoyed hearing the history of her early dental hygiene career 56 years ago. I also enjoyed reading about her family.

I felt so rejuvenated after reading her quote, "I'm awed by what I've had the chance to do in my career." The quote made me realize how thankful I should be about being a dental hygienist, being able to help people, and being paid well and have a flexible schedule.

Thank you for the wonderful story of Myrna. Myrna, thank you for who you are!
Sue Cesario, RDH
Naperville, Illinois


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About the cover

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Tammy Kalsow, RDH, has spread her "tooth fairy" charm all across the countryside in Wisconsin. She said, "Over the past 10 years, I have visited all of the schools in the Dells school district. I have the privilege of teaching approximately 500 children — kindergarten through third grade — each year about the importance of good snack choices, proper brushing, and what it takes to make smiles happen."

The numbers continue to grow. Her family recently moved 60 miles away from her hometown of Wisconsin Dells, and she said, "Tammy the Tooth Fairy has now spread her wings to teach at other school districts as well."

Her father, Dr. Patrick Sweeney, encouraged Tammy, who had worked in his practice since she was 14 years old, to participate in an education program he had initiated in local schools a year after her graduation from dental hygiene school. A brainstorming session with her mother led to Tammy the Tooth Fairy.

Kalsow said. "Last year, a special thank-you from a second grader touched my heart. I had given a rotary toothbrush to him for answering a review question at the end of my presentation. He told his teacher that he was so happy to have the toothbrush because his mom and dad did not have enough money to buy him one, and now he had a special one to keep the cavity bugs away.

"I would encourage anyone interested in starting a dental education program in his or her schools to do so. Dental health month is a great time to visit and most teachers are willing to turn their class over to a tooth fairy just for that purpose. Dressing the part makes you become bigger that life, and every child sits in awe when the Tooth Fairy speaks."

She and her husband, Jeff, have two sons, Isaac and David. She works part-time for Dr. Tom Yentz in Black Earth, Wis., and also coaches middle school basketball.

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